Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Profile - Online & Off

When MediaLogix introduced a profile based building system a few years back on our One Willow Bridge project, many had never heard of such a thing. It was pretty cutting edge at the time and quite frankly still is. One Willow Bridge is a fractional ownership residence in Vail where the residents might get a different unit each time they come to visit. That being said, the experience for them remains very much the same each time they visit. Each of the units in the building have a complete Crestron Control system that operates and automates every function of the home including lighting, heating & cooling, TV Channels, Direct Phone numbers (inbound and outbound), concierge services, pre-programmed home “scenes” and more. The problem with allowing so much customization is the fact that each time the resident comes back to town (and subsequently gets a different unit to stay in), they have to go through and set all there preferences again. That WOULD be the problem if the resident profile system wasn’t introduced.

Instead of each resident “re-programming” their home every time they come to visit, we were able to setup a profile based system that follows them around to each unit as they are occupied. Before the resident ever comes to town, they log in to a website to inform the building when they are coming to town. The building system intelligently registers this information. As the resident physically arrives, the building recognizes them based on an intelligent RFID based key card system. The building knows to let them in and after they park their car, they are directed to the correct elevator, floor and unit. When the resident walks in to the unit, it might be the first time they have ever seen it, but everything they stored before is already loaded in to the system. This creates an automatic “home” where all of their favorite pre-sets, media, phone numbers and the like are already there waiting for them.

Getting to the point

My point in this post is to ask a simple question. All of us have online accounts with Yahoo, Google, Microsoft or similar. As technology continues to grow, our accounts are capable of handling more and more tasks. Where as I used to just have email through Google, I now have a fully functioning web based business hub that handles contacts, docs & spreadsheets, unified communications (including video communications), and much much more. My account saves my preferences so I can access them from anywhere and at any time (with an internet connection). This change combined with building wide technology systems like I mentioned above are bound to hit a crossroads at some point. This means that in a few years, my Google Account might just interact with any compatible “Google Home Automation System” to offer me very similar features and functions as One Willow Bridge does independently.

Of course this is just my thoughts of where this might go. What do you think? What technologies do you see shaping the world and how we interact with it? Does all this stuff creep you out or get you excited? We are all very interested to hear!

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